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The Electrifying Eddie Harris

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Editors’ Notes

In the transformative year of 1967, when both jazz and rock were the midst of massive mutation, Eddie Harris undertook his own personal revolution as one of the only musicians to adopt the electric saxophone. Developed in 1965 by H & A Selmer Inc., the “Varitone” featured an electronic pickup system that applied a number of different effects to the sound of the standard sax. It ignited Harris’ imagination, and The Electrifying Eddie Harris is a consummation of love for his new toy. The Varitone didn’t alter the saxophonist’s naturally husky tone, but instead offered it a ballsy edge and freaky effects like tremolo and echo. Harris was especially fond of the octave function, which doubled every note with a ghostly, rumbling undertone. This effect is especially noticeable on “Theme In Search Of A Movie,” “Listen Here” and “I Don’t Want No One But You.” The moody rumble of “Spanish Bull” is proof of the kinds of scenes that could be evoked with the new technology, but the centerpiece is surely “Sham Time.” Aided by auxiliary horn players and percussionists, the song surges forth like a tractor-trailer just barely attached to its axles.

Customer Reviews

Electrifying Eddie Harris

This album was in my collection as an undergrad student in the early 70's. It was my very first jazz purchase. It was great then and even greater NOW!!!! Every jazz lover should have this album. It has withstood the test of time.

The Electrifying Eddie Harris

This is possibly Harris' seminal work that brought him into vogue in the late '60's. Although the electric saxophone was a novelty, Harris explored the full range of the horn's sound and got terrific results. Check out "Listen Here", a timeless selection that is as fresh today as it was over 40 years ago. "Theme in Search of a Movie" and "Sham Time" round out this outstanding album. You will want to purchase the Eddie Harris/Les McCann live at Montreux collaboration, "Swiss Movement" after this.

Electrifying AND Excellent!

....If you like Saxophonic Jazz, this is clearly for you-also recommended are the late Mr Harris' collaborations with the equally intense Les McCann; "Compared To What" definitely comes to mind, and is a Must for all Eddie Harris fans!


Born: October 20, 1934 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Long underrated in the pantheon of jazz greats, Eddie Harris was an eclectic and imaginative saxophonist whose career was marked by a hearty appetite for experimentation. For quite some time, he was far more popular with audiences than with critics, many of whom denigrated him for his more commercially successful ventures. Harris' tastes ranged across the spectrum of black music, not all of which was deemed acceptable by jazz purists. He had the chops to handle technically demanding bop, and the...
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The Electrifying Eddie Harris, Eddie Harris
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